Like most relationship labels the public uses these days, casual dating usually gets thrown around casually. So let us get some facts straight for a moment. What does it mean to be in a “casual dating” relationship?
It is a kind of relationship between individuals who go on dates and spend a lot of time together in ongoing ways without expectations of going into a long-term or committed affair. Going on a casual date with a person usually means you like them enough to hang out with them on a regular basis. Still, you are not ready to be serious with them, or just do not want long-term and serious affairs, whether with the person in particular or just in general.
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There’s no serious commitment, as well as a lack of interest in establishing a meaningful and serious relationship. The bottom line is a fast and hard boundary around the depth of attachment and emotional intimacy. An individual might go into a causal relationship with another person, although usually, this term implies that it is not exclusive.
What is the point of going into this kind of relationship?
This kind of relationship can sometimes lead to a more serious one. It is one of the early phases of a relationship. But in some cases, individuals choose to keep everything casual since they usually do not want more emotional attachment with the other side.
There are tons of reasons individuals do informal affairs, ranging from wanting to have a lot of fun dating to wanting to gain interpersonal experience with a person to whom they are attracted but avoiding emotional attachments that come with a deep level of commitment. Most people casually see other people until someone presents themselves as an excellent long-term partner. That is why sometimes it is a gatekeeper between affairs.
Friends with benefits versus hooking up versus casual dating
Friends with benefits, hooking up, and informal affairs are all related ideas but distinct in different ways. Friends and benefits and hooking up both involve some form of sexual or physical intimacy. On the other hand, casual dating may or may not include sex, although some individuals use the term spontaneous sex or spontaneous dating interchangeably.
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Being friends with benefits usually involves going out in a non-romantic way with random sex as the main feature of get-togethers. Hooking up is a more general expression to describe two people engaging in various forms of physical intimacy or sex.
Tips for a successful informal dating
People need to know what they want and why they want it
It is an excellent idea to think about what they want from their experiences so they can communicate that with their partners. Not everyone they meet will be down with their vision, so they can save everyone a lot of energy, time, and even money if they are clear. Not only is that, putting what you are really looking for in the first place is an excellent way to attract individuals who are on a similar page.
Tell the other party exactly what you want from this type of affair
Just because you are keeping things informal does not mean you do not need to define the affair. On the contrary, experts stress the importance of clear communications about what you want from this kind of setup. Make sure to be explicit as much as possible when communicating.
What expectations or actions would be crossing the boundaries? What are the limitations? What type of veto power is allowed and not allowed? Individuals who are using online sites like Skip the Games need to tell the other party these things before meeting with them.
People usually like the idea of this kind of setup but do not actually enjoy it once they are in this kind of affair. Or they might agree to this setup because they like them, and they just went along with it. To avoid the emotional burden or other types of misunderstandings, it is vital to be real and honest with yourself whether it meets your wants and needs.
It is okay if the answer is a big no. People need to be honest with themselves about why they are pursuing this type of affair, especially if they are a serious dater or serial monogamist. They need to check in with themselves often about whether it is meeting their needs. If not, let the other party know.